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EPA Fined West Fertilizer Plant In 2006

David Gray, Director of External Affairs for the EPA, issued a statement to KERA that the agency conducted an inspection of the West Fertilizer Co.'s risk management plan on March 16, 2006, during which it found a number of deficiencies. It fined the plant $2,300 on August 14, 2006 and ordered the facility to correct the problems identified during the inspection.

Deficiencies identified in 2006 included:

  • Failure to update its risk management plan in a timely manner. The plan was due in 2004 but wasn’t updated until 2006.
  • Failure to document that hazards had been addressed.
  • Operating procedures failed to address consequences of deviation.
  • Poor employee training records.
  • The company had not developed a formal written maintenance program.

According to Gray, the facility is subject to certain provisions because of the amount of ammonia on its property exceeds 10,000 lbs.
By law, the plant is required to submit an updated plan every five years. It submitted one in 2011. It has not had an accident in the last five years.

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.